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Zoom Instructions for the Virtual Zendo

Set up your system

Do this as soon as you can, so you are prepared when we all get together. If you haven't used Zoom before, click here to go to their test page. URL is https://zoom.us/test.
Click the Join button to start the process. If you haven't used Zoom before, follow all directions to download and launch their program. You won't have to sign up for an account.
Read each prompt and respond carefully. Each different device has its own set of instructions. For instance, if you see a popup with a "Open Zoom Meetings" button, click it to load the app and join the test meeting.
When the meeting first opens you'll see a "Join with Video" button - click that.
Next you may be given a sound test, checking first your speakers then your microphone. Respond appropriately. Finally you will be asked if you wish to join with computer or internet audio - answer yes.
> You should now see yourself in a Zoom window, and if you move your mouse (or finger on a tablet or phone), you should see a toolbar with various choices.
When done, bring up the toolbar and click "Leave Meeting" in the lower right corner.

Zoom Meeting Environment

Use the link you were sent to join the group. Because of security needs, this will be different each week to include the meeting password which changes. As soon as you join you'll find yourself in the "Waiting Room", and you will be admitted to join the group.
> Your microphone should be automatically muted when you join to prevent cacophany. If you aren't muted, please click the little microphone icon to turn your mic off.
> If your computer or device doesn't have speakers or a microphone, you can join using your telephone for the audio portion. Each time you join a meeting you will be asked if you want to use computer audio or telephone. To use your phone, click the "telephone" tab at the top of the audio box and follow directions.


The virtual zendo will be open at 7:25pm, so if you need technical assistance please click the link to join at that time. We'll begin zazen at 7:30pm as usual.

Dharma Discussion

After we do our regular walking meditation at 8pm,  I'll introduce our topic for the evening then open it up for everyone.
> Audio issues: Your microphone should be automatically muted as soon as you join the meeting. Why? Zoom only lets one person "talk" at once, so when multiple people start talking the system blocks out most and switches back and forth between the loudest/most recent speakers. To make things intelligible, please unmute yourself before speaking then mute yourself when finished.
So, how can you be heard?
>> Use the "Raise Hand" feature: "To raise your hand in a Zoom meeting, click the Raise Hand icon on the bottom left of the Zoom window. On tablets or phones, it may be in the "More" menu. When you click the Raise Hand icon, a hand icon will appear next to your name that will notify the host your hand is raised. You will also see the hand icon turn green. When you want to lower your hand, you can click the hand icon again and your hand will be lowered. Keep in mind that a host can lower your hand for you, as well as disable the raise hand feature altogether. "
> After the current speaker finishes, I'll mute them and ask the next person to "unmute" themselves and lower their hand. Note that Zoom no longer allows the host to "unmute" participants. I'll say your name when it's your turn to unmute and being speaking.
> After speaking, you can mute yourself to save time and clear the channel for the next person.

Closing Vows

At 9pm the host will mute everyone and ring the bell as they chant the Four Vows. Follow the host's voice as closely as you can for the best result. Although others can't hear you, please do chant along with the group.


All in-person events are postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.